Skip to comments.My first book on physics
Posted on 07/10/2008 6:51:50 PM PDT by free me
My wife just took up an interest in physics. What would be a good book for her to start with?
I've never posted a vanity thread before, but I'm sure there is no better people to ask than my fine freeper friends.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!
Relativity by Einstein might be a good choice.
My personal favorites are the The Feynman Lectures on Physics volumes I, II and II
Thank you. Is there a book that maybe explains what the study of physics is and where the field stand today?
How advanced and which physics? Classical, Quantum, Relativity? Maybe a book on the history of physics?
I’m not sure, but if she finds this, let me know.
How can an insect fly around inside a car that is going 75 miles an hour? Or something dropped inside the car goes straight down. How is the outside the moving vehicle the only thing that is affected?
I know it has something to do with the Theory of Relativity, but I don’t know enough about it to answer that riddle for myself.
Oh no, we both said the same thing! Those books do use quite a bit of calculus after the first few chapters though, don’t they?
“Physics” is a very broad subject covering everything from gravity to how light refracts through a lens to how a pendulum works to quantum physics. Unless your wife has at least a minor in math, stay away from any college level books.
Some math? I too think that they are great but there is a lot of math : ) Some of Feymans books are very funny and great reads.
Thank you. I have warned her about the math. She is certainly capable but I think to start with the “pop physics” route is the way to go for now.
When I was in high school, we used Giancoli's physics textbook, which only required algebra. The AP kids used Tipler's books.
They are all relative motion, but have nothing to do with the Theory of Relativity : )
“Seven ideas that shook the universe”
I bought the book in College in the 80s...still relevant today.
At what level is she starting? Is she interested in the subject as an academic type interest or a personal pursuit?
This will let people know what books would fit her specific interest.
All the best!
Space Child’s Mother Goose. Frederick Windsor.
Halliday & Resnick
These books were used by all students who went for a BS in any school.
In that case I've always been partial to the Halliday and Resnick text. It's calculus based and the examples are great. And I just think it's formatted better.
If you're looking for an eclectic mix the Feynman lectures on Physics are wonderful. There is some history of mathematics stuff in there that makes you realize that Feynman wasn't just brilliant he could break stuff down and render it understandable.
On the same note if you're looking for some understanding of Quantum Mechanics Feynman's QED is a great read explaining the essence of Quantum Electrodynamics to the lay person.
And if you like the lay person's type of guide to Quantum Mechanics then the book GHOST IN THE ATOM is a nice synopsis of what the argument is all about in quantum mechanics. I believe it was based on a series of interviews broadcast on the BBC.
Finally if you don't want to tackle calculus (which by the way isn't that bad and is the only way to really understand what is going on in physics) I believe the Giancoli series has an algebra only based text. But the real beauty of how classical physics works will be lost and your understanding will be choppy.
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